A colleague of mine based in the USA was talking about some research into the causes of small plane crashes. This was a topic getting some attention in the media there with an enquiry underway following a spate of recent tragedies.

It turns out that as pilots are very goal orientated and have a plan to fly from one destination to another, they have a tendency to keep flying even when conditions have changed and are no longer safe.

Many people I work with are also very goal oriented. It’s been a strength and contributed to their career success. But I talk with them about how that drive to complete will impact their job search, particularly in a challenging job market.

Some people are so uncomfortable with the probable timeframe of getting their next full-time role and with the uncertainty of being in the job market that they are drawn to jump into a long-term solution without clarity.

Or jump into something that seems good enough, to close the discomfort of the uncertainty and tick it off the list.

Other people are convinced that the best strategy is to wait for clarity and for their ideal opportunity.

The bigger the change that we are navigating, the more profound the level of uncertainty. Yet often, before clarity arrives, decisions need to be made and actions taken.

Often, I find that my role is to assist clients to find stepping stones on the path.

Career stepping stones often come through networking

Lots of work comes through people you know rather than formal recruitment channels. Prepare to talk about the value you can add and ask some good questions and set up some conversations. People love to give advice and make introductions. If you don’t hear back, that’s ok, keep going.

Consider short term job roles

Consider contracts and short term assignments. Sometimes there is work that needs to be done even for 1-3 months that turns into something more.

A short term solution can meet immediate needs. It may confirm it’s not for you, or open doors and even turn out to be part of a new ongoing portfolio of work.

Clarity often comes through movement.

Have you taken a stepping stone on the way to getting on right track for your long term career?